Policy Committee

To achieve the OCFSN vision – that all Oregonians thrive with healthy, affordable foods from an environmentally and economically resilient regional food system – we need supportive public policy. At the local, state, and federal levels.

To get there, we need to build our skills for farm and food policy assessment and advocacy.

Our goal is to support Network members and working groups to inform and learn from each other about our diverse public policy goals. By doing this, we can build common cause and grow our collective voice.

Curious what went down last session? Check out Bills We Watched: 2019 Post-legislative Roundup

During sessions, we offer our members three ways to share information about legislative proposals that they champion, support, or oppose: 

  1. The OCFSN newsletter has a section for short updates on policy issues.
  2. We maintain a “Community Food Systems Guide to the Legislature” list of bills that members are watching in the current session. 
  3. Bills to Watch For Webinars: Short presentations by members about bills they supporting or opposing.


An easy-to-share link that hosts all of our webinar recordings: ocfsn.net/b2fw/

  • Bills to Watch For #1: Recording here and view slides here.
    • Double Up Food Bucks: Funding for SNAP Match (DUFB) at farmers markets, CSAs, and some grocery stores across the state (SB 727 and HB 2837– identical bills). Recording not available; click here to watch a video about DUFB Oregon.
    • Oregon Agricultural Heritage Program:  Funding for a suite of 4 grants for voluntary conservation of agricultural land and farm/ranch succession planning (HB 2729) and a package of statutory fixes (minor wording changes, clarifying the protocol for evaluation of applicants) for OAHP (HB 2086). Listen at 00:00
    • Farm to School: Increase current levels of funding (HB 2579). Listen at 20:00
  • Bills to Watch For #2: Recording here and view slides here 
    • GE Patent Holder Liability: Bills (identical in both chambers) that would protect Oregon’s specialty seed industry by creating patent holder and manufacturer liability for GE contamination events in Oregon (SB 434 and HB 2882). Listen at 00:00
    • Maintain elevated funding for 3 existing food access programs: Oregon Hunger Response Fund (HB 5026), Farm-Direct Nutrition for low-income seniors and WIC families (HB 5525) Listen at 13:40
    • Clean Energy Jobs: A carbon cap and invest bill that could benefit small- and mid-sized agriculture (HB 2020). Listen at 34:30
  • Bills to Watch For #3: Watch recording here and view slides here.
    • James Beard Public Market pre-development funding (HB 2810). Listen at 2:45
    • Friends of Family Farmers’ priority issues and bills that they’re tracking. Listen at 22:15
    • Land use: Bills that would impact agricultural lands and Oregon’s land use program (along with other bills that 1000 Friends of Oregon is tracking). Listen at 35:54
  • How to work on state legislation legally and effectively: A “how to” webinar about policy advocacy, explaining the legal rules for nonprofits AND some “rules of the road” from OCFSN members with experience at the Legislature. Download a PDF of the slides here.
  • Small Farms at the Legislature: View slides here from a session at the 2019 Small Farms Conference about 6 of our members’ priority bills.

Policy Resources

Guide to Lobbying in Oregon– Oregon Ethics Commission: Explains rules for nonprofits who lobby for more than 24 hours in a quarter

Public Charities Can Lobby

Lobbying Guidelines for 501c3 Nonprofits

Political Campaign Activities– Risk to Tax Exempt Status

Nonprofits and Lobbying: Yes they can!

Lobbying and 501c3 Nonprofits

Can I Do That: A Webinar About Nonprofit Advocacy You’ll need to register with name/email to access the recording

Food Policy Councils and Lobbying

Anybody can be an advocate: Measuring your council’s readiness to work on policy

Administrative Advocacy: Influencing Rules, Regulations, and Executive Orders

Advocacy and Lobbying

John Hopkins Toolkit, Get it Toolgether: Assessing Your Food Council’s Ability to Do Policy Work

Oregon Legislative Calendar

The Economics of Local Food Systems

Local food policy guide

State food policy guide

Trends in US Local and Regional Food Systems (USDA)